This post was updated Feb. 12 at 3:21 p.m.
Fraternity members will soon use Breathalyzers at parties to check attendees’ levels of intoxication.
The UCLA Interfraternity Council updated its Risk Management Policy on Jan. 28 to require the use of Breathalyzers at parties to protect attendees’ health and safety. The policy change will not take effect until the Breathalyzers are distributed, which will occur in the near future, IFC President Joshua Kaplan said in an email statement.
Kaplan said each fraternity’s risk management team, composed of elected fraternity chapter members, will be equipped with Breathalyzers to assess attendees’ blood alcohol content so the fraternities can better respond in life-threatening situations. He added attendees will not be forced to blow into the Breathalyzer if requested.
The policy bylaw states the fraternities will be required to present the Breathalyzers at the pre-party check. However, Kaplan said fraternities are not required to use Breathalyzers during the parties.
He added the risk managers will decide when to use the Breathalyzers, and are encouraged to do so in dangerous situations. The Breathalyzers will not be used for guests entering the house or going up from the first floor unless the risk manager decides to take their BAC levels, Kaplan said.
According to a statement from the UCLA Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life, the Breathalyzers will be purchased by the IFC and loaned out to chapters on an event-by-event basis. They added the risk management teams or security guards may use the Breathalyzers at the front door if someone is too intoxicated to enter their party or in need of medical assistance.
The IFC will meet with university police and UCLA Student Health and Wellness to set a blood alcohol content level limit for contacting emergency services, according to the statement.
Kaplan said there is currently no limit set. In addition, Kaplan said the Breathalyzers would not replace private security guards at parties.
He also said the cost of the Breathalyzers had not been determined.
“We understand that these incidents may be infrequent, but in light of recent tragic events surrounding fraternity life across the nation, we want to do everything in our power to make sure UCLA students are given the best care,” Kaplan said.
Cara Nguyen, a first-year business economics student, said she thinks the impact of the Breathalyzers depends on fraternity members’ intentions.
“It’s better for the security in the front who mark student hands to have the Breathalyzers because it would be more reliable and likely for the Breathalyzer to be used correctly,” Nguyen said.
Kristine Carrillo, a first-year pre-business economics student, said while Breathalyzers can protect people from drinking to dangerous levels, it might also enable partygoers to get close to dangerous levels of drinking.
“It’s very iffy,” Carrillo said. “It’s like ‘How much can I do before I get caught?’”
Tommy Waller, a first-year economics student, said the Breathalyzers would prevent attendees from dangerous levels of intoxication and make the party safer.
Bella Martin, Undergraduate Students Association Council general representative 2, said she feels the bylaw is vague and needs to have more clearly delineated parameters so students can understand what to expect in terms of Breathalyzer-use.
She added she thinks the addition of the bylaw will give the false impression that sexual assault and harassment can be attributed to the intoxication levels of the perpetrator or victim.
“It’s victim blaming in its purest form,” Martin said. “I just, I wish I had words.”
Martin said the IFC added the Breathalyzer bylaw to the Risk Management Policy as an extra layer of protection to make parties safer.
“I am wary of the power dynamics that could be fostered by potential college-aged men who are entrusted to Breathalyze party attendees,” Martin added. “It is not the student body’s responsibility to interpret the bylaw, but, rather, IFC’s responsibility to be clear from the beginning.”